How to Get Exposure

One of the thing that drives me nuts on social media are magicians complaining about people asking them to do gigs for “exposure”. The people are super offended that someone asks, however that’s the way that charities operate, by donations. You are a business, and they ask businesses for donations, you should be flattered that they consider you a business!

I will agree that the promise of exposure is usually an empty promise as they think you’ll do all of the work to get the exposure. It should have to be that way and it doesn’t have to be.

A long time ago I did an “exposure gig” and was passing out my cards, etc and after the gig they had a meal for me. It was the volunteer meal, now what people attending the gig were served. Everyone was eating steak and salmon and they gave me a ham sandwich and bag of chips. That’s when I decided that was never going to happen again.

The next day I wrote up a document and converted it to a .pdf that details exactly what the charity has to do if they want me for free…but beyond that, how they have to treat me.

Now when they call me for “exposure gigs” I tell them that I would love to help them out and I’ll send them a .pdf to see if we’re a good fit. The majority of the charities that contact me after seeing the .pdf tell me they can’t do what I’m asking for, and that’s fine. It’s putting into their head what exposure actually is. The few that accept my terms are exposure gigs where I actually get exposure and a ton of it that translates into paid gigs…some of the exposure gigs turn into paid gigs as well!

Instead of being offended, spend an hour and write up what you think is a fair trade in terms of promotion. Then when they ask, say “yes”…on your terms!